Top New Jersey High Schools 2008: Methodology

Top high schools in NJ: Methodology.

How the rankings are compiled
Data for New Jersey Monthly’s biennial ranking of the state’s public high schools were obtained from the state Department of Education’s most recent New Jersey School Report Card (covering the 2006-2007 school year). Special-education, vocational-technical schools, and schools lacking report card data were excluded (see note, next page).

Monmouth University’s Polling Institute analyzed the data by first standardizing individual indicator scores so that small differences did not have a disproportionate impact on the ranking but that large differences were not minimized in the relative scores.  These indicators were grouped into three categories. The summary scores for each category were added together to arrive at the final overall score and ranking.

Here are the categories and indicators used in the ranking:

1. School Environment:
The sum of the standardized rank scores for average class size; student-to-faculty ratio; student-to-computer ratio; percentage of faculty with advanced degrees; and number of advanced placement (AP) tests offered (calculated as a ratio of total junior and senior enrollment to not penalize smaller schools).

2. Student Performance: The sum of the standardized rank scores for average combined SAT score; percentage of students showing advanced proficiency on HSPA; and students scoring a 3 or higher on AP tests as a percentage of total juniors and seniors.

3. Student Outcomes:  A single combined score of graduation rate multiplied by the percentage of graduates going on to post-secondary education. Those going on to a four-year college were given a weight of 1.5; those going to a two-year college were given a weight of 1; and those going to other colleges or post-secondary schools were given a weight of .67.

Other report card indicators that are not part of the ranking calculation, but are included in the list for information purposes, are senior class size and each school’s District Factor Group, which is based on a district’s socioeconomic status (see page 88 for further details).
For complete rankings of all 316 high schools, visit

Note: Certain schools, such as Robbinsville and Barnegat (which recently ended sending/receiving arrangements with other school districts), did not have a graduating class in 2007 and so are not included here. Some academies and magnet high schools, such as International High in Paterson, were missing too many metrics to be included in the rankings.

Some schools in the complete rankings were missing only AP-related data, particularly the number of students who scored a 3 or higher on AP tests.  These include Hoboken, Camden, Hackettstown, Liberty (Jersey City), Henry Snyder (Jersey City), Maple Shade, Riverside, Keyport, and Willingboro. These schools had fewer than 10 students total who took an AP test and thus a value was imputed for purposes of the ranking (using data from similar schools, it was assumed that about 40 percent of those taking the AP test scored 3+).

Full New Jersey High School Rankings (PDF format)
Complete Rankings in Numerical Order
Complete Rankings Alphabetically
Complete Rankings by County

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